Jill Biden visits memorial for Waukesha parade victims after meeting with families, hospital staff

The first lady also spoke about ongoing need to inoculate children as virus surges again ahead of holiday
WAUKSHEA, Wis. (WLS) -- First Lady Jill Biden is in Wisconsin Wednesday, meeting with families of the victims of the Waukesha holiday parade tragedy.

The community is still aching, with the pangs of loss and glimmer of healing coming in waves.

The first lady and second gentleman arrived in silence, in silence, laying flowers as a sign of their solemn grief for the families of six people killed in this city's christmas parade.

Last month, police say a fleeing felon sped through the city's annual Christmas parade, cutting down children and senior citizens, killing at least six and injuries dozens more. Darrell E. Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee faces murder charges in the incident.

"We were witness to a horrific tragedy, and also witness to community coming together and supporting one another," said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly. "The outpouring of care for our community is truly appreciated. This support will help Waukesha heal."

After meeting privately with four families who will now spend Christmas alone, the sense of loss seemed overwhelming to both Dr. Biden, and Doug Emhoff.

"As a father and as a son, it's really impossible to meet these families and not think about my own kids and my own parents," Emhoff said.

"Today we are gathered to testify to the light. We are here to tell the stories of the lives that inspired us and changed us -- that helped shape this community," Dr. Biden added.

RELATED: Waukesha vigil held for Wisconsin Christmas parade victims; 8 children still hospitalized

That healing happened in real time for dozens of young patients at the hands of doctors and nurses at Wisconsin children's hospital, where the pair personally thanked frontline workers.

"While there is no logic to this loss, it has left something else in its wake: Love. And that defies logic, too," the first lady added.

As they met with families of the victims memorialized in the Wisconsin town, the community again rallied, scrambling to protect the now permanent memorial from brutal winds moving in.

"I wish I could have done more," said Terry Frederick. "Some communities can be divided by these things and we came together."

"This is exactly what Waukesha is about," added Kelly Fleming.

During the visit, Dr. Biden also thanked the frontline workers for their enduring work against COVID-19.

They visited the pediatric vaccine unit where the she spoke about the ongoing need to inoculate children as the virus again surges ahead of the holiday.

Some of the same doctors and nurses have also spent the last several weeks carefully tending to the bedsides of children injured in the Christmas parade.

Biden was in Chicago in mid-October to mark the end of Hispanic Heritage Month.
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